Giving thanks.

I woke up this morning, looked outside, and it was snowing. Not in a ohnofindashovelweregonnabelate type snow. But the perfect snowfall that gives joy to my heart in seeing that light sprinkling over our yard + woods surrounding our home.

We had breakfast, went to Mass, had our friend take some pictures of us (for our Christmas cards!) in the woods by the Church while the snowfall was still in the pretty stage, and then brought some cookies over to a Priest in a nursing home downtown.

Kevin worked with this Priest a few years back when he was a youth minister up on the iron range (yes, that’s a place). They have a lovely friendship and I’ve had the privilege to spend some quality time with him since being first introduced a couple years ago. On this day of giving thanks, he truly has a gift of opening me and Kevin’s eyes to all that we have to be thankful for.

Fr. Doyle likes to say things like this:

“Think of how good God has been to you both.

“You have jobs that provide for you and are satisfying.”

“You have a house, a place to go home to and enter into your own.”

“Kevin, look at what going to Boston has given you. A wife!”

“Katie, what a gift that you’ve learned you’re able to conceive. So many couples cannot even achieve that.”

“Look at how much more at ease you are today than you were two months ago.”

And he’s right. The Lord has blessed us in abundant ways. Ways we don’t even realize. Too often I take the most obvious things for granted. Of course, after we left the nursing home there was a small inconvenience that threw me off and I let it get the best of me. The next couple hours were me bottling up some frustration. But my goodness, Katie, get over yourself!

I think the root of my funk was from being bit homesick today – wanting to see the comforting roads by my neighborhood in PA, wanting to rest in my parents’ house, wanting to carry on traditions with my siblings. How easily those little pangs can overrun all the good things right in front of me!

But God is still good. I am sitting in my warm home next to my husband as we sip on a hot beverage before going over to his uncle’s house for dinner. There is no reason to not be content. Yet the same cannot be said for most people in the world today. People struck with death, war, sickness, loneliness.

So today, let us offer up our minor sufferings, our small inconveniences, for those who truly need it. And I will try to cultivate a great spirit of gratitude in my own life.

 

7 Quick Takes: Thanksgiving travels and more fun stuff

– 1 –

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As you know, Thanksgiving was last week. Kevin and I got up at 4:30am that day to drive to PA, which I’m SO glad we did. We avoided ALL traffic and the poor weather that we had the night before. And because it snowed, we had a lovely scenic route the whole way! AND instead of finishing the drive in the dead of the night, we arrived in full sun. 10 points for us.

– 2 –

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We had our “annual” (aka we do it when everyone is around on a holiday) football game, in which all of the able & willing family members participated. It was a huge mess outside from that week’s weather and it was a complete mud bowl. We were all freezing and numb and covered in mud by the time it was 5-5, so we called it a tie. But it was still a blast!

– 3 –

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Saturday was my dear friend Krista’s wedding – I was honored to be a bridesmaid. We have been close friends since high school – needless to say we’ve experienced a lot of life things together. What a beautiful bride she was! It was such a great time, and it was so moving to see them give themselves to one another in the sacrament. The reception was at Holly Hedge, where my brother had his last March, and I just love that place. It’s darling and cozy and there was the perfect amount of snow on the ground with light flurrying. Congrats Krista & JB!

– 4 –

We had our rental car until Wednesday, so I was spoiled.com and got a ride to and from work Monday and Tuesday. It was awesome. Once we have a car (hopefully next summer!), I will never take it for granted. Never. What a luxury it is. It’s amazing how much time we saved and how much we got done. I’m pretty efficient with my life right now, I can only imagine how much more so I’ll be with my very own vehicle!

– 5 –

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Kevin and I got our very own tree! Our first one! Small…but also cheap…and the perfect size for our apartment. We rearranged some things (not the easiest job in the world) to make it fit, but it does! And it smells glorious. Just as an Advent (soon to be Christmas) tree should. And I made a little (and quite basic) Advent wreath!

– 6 –

Work is crazy at the moment. We are currently down two people and Katie has taken on their responsibilities. Also, two other people in the office have been pulled to work on a big project. That leaves two of us in the office…fun times for all. Truly. But I will say that it’s nice to be consistently busy! Even though my to-do list isn’t shrinking (it keeps growing), I feel like I’m getting a lot done and contributing to whatever it is I should be contributing to. 🙂

– 7 –

Parks and Recreation is my new favorite show. Kevin and I had been binge watching it on Netflix for the two weeks prior to Advent, and then had to stop. So suddenly! That’s okay. Gotta make room for the Lord. But it is SUCH a good show. It’s so innocent, hilarious, and all around good fun. Maybe we’ll watch an episode on Sunday…or two(ish).

Have a stellar weekend!